3 Ways to Make Boring or Hard Work Easier to Do

Habits help you automate positive behavior and actions on a daily basis. But they are not enough to perform at your peak. There will be times when you will have to do boring or hard things that take uphill effort.

If you can make boring, hard work easier to do, that’s more than half the battle in making the impossible possible.

In episode 51 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1. The power of grit and the habit of ferocity

2. Three ways to make boring or hard work easier to do:

a) Pick the right task to do in a given moment

  • The task itself should match your level of focus and energy, which often depends on the time of day and your natural rhythm
  • The 3 stages of the flow cycle
  • The mind-body ultradian rhythm
  • The challenge-skills balance and work-rest ratio

b) Keep the right mindset for lifelong learning

  • A growth mindset is better than a fixed mindset to learn and develop any skill
  • The importance of reading books to learn
  • The two modes of learning theories – entity vs. incremental theories of intelligence

c) Choose the right turf

  • Your workspace environment affects your ability to think and do work
  • The one advantage that remote workers have over workers who have to go to a shared office space
  • The difference between focused thinking and diffused thinking
  • The difference between divergent thinking and convergent thinking
  • Four tactics to design your environment for sparking ideas and triggering flow

To listen to episode 51, 3 Ways to Make Boring or Hard Work Easier to Do, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

Watch the video on episode 51, especially if you’re a visual learner! Become one of the first 100 subscribers on our YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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How to Reset and Start Fresh (when you feel stuck)

If you feel stuck, bored or just plain lazy, you might be waiting for inspiration to strike. But what if it doesn’t?

You might think you need more discipline or willpower. But even the most disciplined people procrastinate on the things they need to do. And willpower is finite. The more you use it, the less you have on a given day.

In episode 50 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

5 steps to reset and start fresh –

1) Acknowledge what you control and don’t control.

2) Figure out what you really want.

3) Remove obstacles that take up mental bandwidth and drain your energy.

4) Take one small action.

5) Set artificial deadlines.

To listen to episode 50, How to Reset and Start Fresh, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist podcast at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show! Subscribe to the channel so you catch new videos when they’re released.

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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A Quick Way to Make Habits Stick

Do you have trouble remembering to do a new habit?

Are you setting the right conditions to form the habit?

Do you lose motivation when you don’t get immediate results?

Habit stacking is a quick way to build good habits, which have a lasting, massive impact in your life. Habits are automatic behaviors that reduce decision fatigue, make time your ally, and save your energy for the hardest things.

In episode 49 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) The Habit Stacking formula

2) How habit stacking fits with Professor BJ Fogg’s ABC method for designing behavior and building habits

3) Habit stacking applies the four rules of habit formation, outlined in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits:

Rule 1 – make the cue obvious

Rule 2 – make the craving attractive

Rule 3 – make the response easy

Rule 4 – make the reward satisfying

4) 5 quick tips for habit stacking

To listen to episode 49, A Quick Way to Make Habits Stick, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channel, The Incrementalist – A Productivity Show! Be sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss new videos.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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4 Reasons It’s So Hard to Build Good Habits

Do you know how to build a habit?  

Are you struggling to make a good habit stick?

Have you set yourself up for success or for self-sabotage?

Goals are the results and outcomes you want to achieve. They are the direction you want to head in, at least for the time being.  But systems are what create the desired results and outcomes. 

Your daily habits make up your system. What you do day in and day out compounds over time to determine your level of success, mastery and contentment. 

In episode 48 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) Key lessons from James Clear’s Atomic Habits and Professor BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits books

2) What is a habit

3) How your brain controls your behavior 

4) How habits form through a neurological loop: cue, trigger, craving, response and reward

5) What drives behavior (Professor BJ Fogg’s B= MAP formula)

6) Why good habits are so hard to build

  • Reason 1 – the cue is not obvious 
  • Reason 2 – the craving is not strong
  • Reason 3 – the action step is not easy
  • Reason 4 – the reward is not satisfying

To listen to episode 48, 4 Reasons It’s So Hard to Build Good Habits, click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channelThe Incrementalist – A Productivity Show!

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

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How to Time Block (Without the Apps)

Do you get overwhelmed by digital task management tools?  

Are you seeking a good mix of structure and flexibility in your day?

Is there an easy, stress-free way to block time for important projects?

When you hear the term Time Blocking, you might picture color-coded calendars filled up with specific activities for the week. Digital apps to block time might also come to mind.

But you really don’t need an app or even a planner to time block. 

In episode 47 of The Incrementalist, you will learn:

1) More busyness does not lead to higher quality or better results. To align your intentions with your actions, you need to have structure in your day. You also want to have buffers for emergencies and margin for the unexpected.

2) Time blocking is an essential tool to protect time for important projects and tasks. You assign a time block – with a start time and an end time – to focus on a specific activity or a batch of similar activities.  

3) The subtle and important difference between time blocking and time boxing.

4) 3 main tips for time blocking

Tip 1: schedule time blocks in 30-minute or 1-hour increments (not in 5-minute increments like Elon Musk)

Tip 2: time block just the day (not the whole week)

Tip 3: incorporate theming and batching in your time blocks (not time blocks for whatever, whenever)

4) You do not need digital apps or even a planner to time block.

5) How I time block the easy, stress-free way on a whiteboard.  

To listen to episode 47, How to Time Block (Without the Apps), click here. If you prefer to read the transcript, go here. Subscribe to The Incrementalist at Apple Podcasts or other apps.

If you’re a visual learner, watch the video on our new YouTube channelThe Incrementalist – A Productivity Show! It includes a demo on how to time block the easy, stress-free way on a whiteboard.

# # #

Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.

SUBSCRIBE           CONTACT